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First glance: Polk Lend a hand Google Assistant speaker

A speaker isn’t value its salt this yr until it’s were given some AI smarts baked in, and Polk audio is taking no probabilities. Now not handiest is it liberating the Alexa powered Command soundbar, it’s hedging its bets with the newly-unveiled, Google Assistant-led Polk Lend a hand good speaker, too.

Having a look now not in contrast to the first-party Google House which kick-started the Assistant-powered craze, it’s a voice activated speaker that leverages the facility of the quest massive’s AI helper to play tunes, regulate good house equipment, resolution questions and set reminders, amongst many different issues.

On the subject of hand-held in measurement (even though now not a transportable, battery powered affair), it’s cuboid in form with a sloping best edge that homes its button controls. A mic-mute button could also be at the rear.

Alongside the highest could also be an 10-light LED array. This has more than one purposes – appearing quantity point, flashing purple when the mic is muted, and pulsing when it’s processing a job.

It’ll even be becoming a member of the LG ThinQ WK7 Google Assistant speaker in being one of the vital first gadgets to use the Android Issues IoT protocol, which can make it extra safe and obtain updates extra briefly than the ones reliant only on Linux-based builds of Assistant.

Polk Assist

To be had in each white/silver and darkish gray/black sun shades, it includes a wraparound mesh grille. That’s been designed to be stain resistant and cleanable, with the speculation being that it’s simply as neatly fitted to a messy kitchen worktop as this is a lounge or bed room.

In spite of that wraparound design, what it isn’t able to is 360-degree sound. As a substitute it is a forward-firing speaker, applying a 1-inch tweeter and three.Five-inch midwoofer.

Efficiency

Google Assistant has a name for being probably the most responsive of the massive 3 voice assistants (in comparison to Siri and Alexa), and that can stay the case with the Polk Lend a hand. You’ll have the ability to throw maximum any query on the Polk Lend a hand and, due to the facility of Google’s seek engine, be offered with a read-aloud resolution.

What would possibly end up somewhat extra temperamental is the efficiency of the Lend a hand’s microphone, which every now and then struggled to select up the ‘OK Google’ cause word all the way through our quick demo. With the speaker used for the demo affixed upper on a wall than Polk be expecting maximum customers to put it, a Polk consultant stated to be expecting higher efficiency from the mic when positioned at decrease point.

Polk Assist

As for sound high quality, we’d want extra time with the Polk Lend a hand to provide a definitive resolution. A snappy pay attention to Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence confirmed excellent element within the highs, whilst Todd Terje’s Inspector Norse used to be missing the low-level punch to in reality really feel its groove. That stated, its attached features lift it above similarly-priced Bluetooth audio system.

Early verdict

The Polk Lend a hand appears to be like set to be a cast access level for Google Assistant in your house, in particular if you happen to’re on the lookout for a wipe-clean instrument to lend a hand with the cooking. Its shape issue is unobtrusive, and it’s sound high quality after a snappy first pay attention turns out a minimum of on a par with a Google House.

Alternatively, its mic efficiency gave the impression somewhat erratic, and if you happen to’re on the lookout for a deep, detailed sound you’re almost certainly going to must dig somewhat deeper to your wallet. Priced at £179 (round $240 / AU$315) We’ll be bringing you extra at the Polk Lend a hand within the run as much as its July 2018 liberate.